Commencement Information

Commencement 2021

In Person Commencement, Virtual Convocation and Virtual Celebrations, please see below for more details. Please note that this website is being updated frequently.

In Person Commencement on Sunday, May 16th at Nickerson Field

The University is now planning two, in-person, outdoor Commencement ceremonies that are contingent on both the progress made in fighting COVID-19 and decisions made by city or state officials about public gatherings. Read more about the update in the BU Today article.

Registration is now open.

Advanced Degree Commencement Ceremony
Sunday, May 16, 2021
9:30am EDT
Nickerson Field

Undergraduate Degree Commencement Ceremony
Sunday, May 16, 2021
2pm EDT
Nickerson Field

The University Leadership is closely working with State and City officials for the most up-to-date information to ensure that we have the opportunity to appropriately celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2021.

Attendees will be limited to January 2021, May 2021, or September 2021 graduating seniors and advanced degree recipients and a small platform party, including deans, administrators, and honorary degree recipients. Regrettably, we cannot offer the opportunity to invite family and friends, but enhanced livestream options will be available to share this important milestone.

Undergraduate or graduate degree candidates who have followed the Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order and the University’s Back2BU COVID-19 protocols may participate in the in-person Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 16, 2021 at Nickerson Field.

Degree candidates studying remotely from off-campus locations and outside Massachusetts may participate but will also have to comply with the University’s Back2BU protocols and city and state travel guidelines for entering the State.

Registration:

  • All graduates who wish to participate must register in advance. Registration will open on April 30th at 7am EDT
  • PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE YOUR LfA STATUS IF YOU HAVE REGISTERED TO ATTEND. Once registered, your status will automatically be updated on Monday, May 10. After the All-University Commencement Ceremony, your LfA status will be automatically updated to what it was prior to Monday May 10.
  • Registration opens Friday, April 30 at 7am EDT and closes upon reaching maximum venue capacity or on Sunday, May 9 at midnight EDT; whichever occurs first.
  • Physically distanced seating is limited to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis during the registration process. Seating is limited and subject to availability at the time of registration.
    • Please note that day of walk-ins will not be permitted.
  • Graduates who complete the registration will receive via email a confirmation ticket that will be required for entry.
  • Registered graduates will be provided a designated arrival time and seating instructions prior to the event. You must plan to arrive and be seated at your designated time.

Attendance at Ceremony: (In order to attend, registered graduates must adhere to the following)

  • Adhere to Commonwealth of MA COVID-19 Travel Advisory
  • Continue or begin daily BU COVID-19 attestations on Tuesday, May 11 through Sunday, May 16.
  • Schedule and complete a BU COVID-19 test (test results must be negative), even if you are fully vaccinated, on either the Charles River Campus or BU Medical Campus between Thursday, May 13 and noon on Saturday, May 15 at any of the BU Healthway Collection Sites.
    • Please note that COVID-19 tests outside of BU Healthway will NOT be accepted.
  • Students can sign up for BU COVID-19 testing beginning Tuesday, May 11 and MUST MAKE THE APPOINTMENT TO BE TESTED BETWEEN THURSDAY, MAY 13 AND NOON ON SATURDAY, MAY 15.
  • Receive a GREEN BADGE on May 16 prior to your designated arrival time for the All-University Commencement Ceremony; this will indicate compliance with daily attestations and negative BU COVID-19 test.

Day of the Ceremonies – Sunday, May 16th

  • Please arrive wearing your face covering as well as graduation cap and gown. Face coverings must always be worn (before, during, and after the Ceremony).
  • To enter Nickerson Field, you must arrive at your designated time and present:
    • BU ID
    • Green badge (via phone) as part of BU’s COVID-19 compliance
    • Commencement ticket from registration; preferably displayed on phone (paper printout will be accepted)
  • No backpacks or luggage will be permitted and there is no storage available. Please do not bring these items to Nickerson Field.
  • No food or beverages may be brought to Nickerson Field per Commonwealth of MA COVID-19 restrictions.

SPECIAL NOTES

  • Graduates returning to Boston for the in-person commencement will need to make their own housing arrangements. Campus housing is unavailable, but we’ve compiled a list of local hotels offering special rates. (Note: For BU Graduates only and Kerberos log-in required.)
  • The Baccalaureate service will have a capacity limit and will also require registration. Details will be posted here as soon as they are available.
  • Graduates will be assigned to physically distanced seating (6 feet apart) in sections organized by School/College.
  • If an individual receives a positive test after the All-University Commencement Ceremony, they will be required to work with Healthway to determine best health protocols.
  • If you would like to download zoom or TikTok backgrounds please visit this site.

If you have any questions regarding the in person Commencement ceremony, please contact us here.

Virtual Convocation – Saturday, May 15th at 2pm

In addition to the in-person Commencement ceremony, BU Law will record a virtual convocation. This convocation will be posted on Saturday, May 15th at 2pm. Boston University has partnered with an external vendor, MarchingOrder to provide an enhanced virtual experience. MarchingOrder will be creating personalized graduation slides – with photos and messages supplied by each graduate – and graduate name announcements.

By April 1, graduates will receive an email from MarchingOrder (sender: commencement@bu.edu) with a link to the Graduate Data Collection website. On the Data Collection site, graduates will confirm their preferred name and pronunciation, and have the option to add a photo and message to their graduation slide.

If you have not received the Data Collection email by April 1, please contact your convocation coordinator.

Important Dates:

  • April 19, 10 am EDT: Deadline for graduates to confirm preferred name and pronunciation on Data Collection site for graduate name announcements.
  • April 27: Last day for graduates to access Data Collection site and submit photos/messages, or opt-out of virtual convocations.
  • May 15, 2 pm EDT: Virtual convocations live on Commencement 2021 site.

Update as of 4/28:  The Data Collection site for students closed on April 27, but we may still be able to assist you. If you missed the deadline, please email commencement@bu.edu with your full name, school/college, photo, and message as soon as possible, and someone from the Commencement team will confirm. Photos should be .jpg or .png (max size 5 MB). Messages should be messages from yourself, such as thank you’s or inspirational quotes, no more than 150 characters. 

FERPA

All graduates who have not restricted disclosure of Directory Information via the Student Link (Personal Tab, Directory Information option) will be automatically included in the virtual convocation. Students may request to opt-out of having their graduate information posted by completing the MarchingOrder form on the Data Collection site, or contacting their school/college convocation coordinator.

By submitting information to the MarchingOrder Data Collection site, graduates are giving permission to use their name, and photo if applicable, on the BU Commencement 2021 site.

Learn more about FERPA

Diplomas

Diplomas for all graduating students will be mailed. For more information, visit Diplomas, Transcripts & Accounts.

Accessibility

Both the Data Collection site and the virtual convocation on the BU Commencement site will be screen-reader capable. All virtual convocation videos will be captioned.

MarchingOrder FAQs

Commencement 2020

Boston University is planning to hold a dedicated Commencement ceremony during Alumni Weekend (September 29 through October 3, 2021) for all those who completed degrees from September 2019 through January 2021. Please see the message from President Brown for the full announcement.

We encourage you to monitor BU Law’s Commencement page for more information about the law school’s celebration for 2020 graduates as well as the main BU commencement website for updates.

This website will be updated as more information becomes available. Please refer to the links to left for information about all aspects of Commencement 2020 and 2021. If you have any questions regarding commencement that are not answered after reviewing those links, please email Elizabeth Clancey at lawevent@bu.edu.